By Sheroog Kubur, October 19 2022—
What could be a more triumphant complete return to live theatre than a tale that all university students know too well — trying to adapt to university life by making friends, adjusting to weird roommates and trying to avoid getting your throat slashed by a serial killer on the loose. While Hookman has taken some creative liberties on the first-year experience, it creates a story that all theatre-goers will find solace in.
“It’s a slasher comedy — a first-year student goes through the trials and tribulations of being a first-year student at a university and there happens to be a serial killer thrown in there,” said assistant director, Sebastian Rueda Montes.
This is not only the first show of U of C’s School of Creative and Performing Arts for the upcoming season but also the first fully in-person production that they have been able to put on since the COVID-19 pandemic. To come back with a bang, the production is a collaboration between the university and Chromatic Theatre, a local theatre company dedicated to uplifting and empowering the voices and talents of BIPOC creatives in the city.
“It’s a collaboration between a professional body and a student body for the first of the season, so I think it’s a really good way to set the tone for the rest of the season,” said Rueda Montes about the collaboration.
Blending these two troupes together means a production filled with names well known to Calgary’s theatre scene as well as a cast and crew native to the university. The play is directed by the founding artistic director of Chromatic Theatre, Jenna Rodgers, and features design from Andy Moro, Thomas Geddes and the university’s Cassie Holmes and Gal Minnes.
“A really big focus of the creative process is the learning environment — even the professionals are learning from the students and the students are learning from the professionals,” said Jordan Wilson, actor behind the titular Hookman.
“Jenna Rodgers is dedicated to bringing a pedagogical approach to the project — she’s sensitive to the fact that some of these people have never worked in a professional environment before,” added Rueda Montes about the experience of working with Chromatic Theatre.
While the crew faced technical challenges due to the sheer scope of the production, Rueda Montes and Wilson maintain that it was these experiences that were valuable from an acting and backstage perspective. Overall, the process of bringing this production to life was a learning curve that students of the school accepted with open arms.
“We’re going to be introducing people to the university’s drama department that might’ve never seen a show before,” said Rueda Montes about what makes this production exciting for the cast and crew.
Hookman is the perfect way to ease into this year’s spooky season. The play runs from Oct. 21 to 29 with evening shows all week and an online showing on Oct. 28. Tickets are available for purchase and U of C students have the option for free admission through Claim Your Seat. Hookman is a necessary addition to the plethora of activities open to the public this month and should be the number one item on the list.